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July 23 2014

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30 posts tagged "Cate Blanchett"

Dressing for Fame: Elizabeth Stewart Talks Styling the Stars

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If celebrity status is conferred in red-carpet appearances, then no actress today can compete without the help of just the right stylist. As Kerry Washington once told Glamour after she noticeably upped the sartorial ante, “There were a couple of actresses whom I felt were having the upper hand careerwise—because they knew how to work that red carpet.” A carefully crafted collaboration between stylist and client, the perfect look can create an indelible impact on agents, casting directors, and those of us watching from the sidelines. Straight from the epicenter of all things celebrity, we’ve asked some of the industry’s top stylists to share their experiences and impressions from their perch above Tinseltown. With our Dressing for Fame series, we bring you an exclusive, insider look at everything it takes to create those iconic moments captured by a million photo flashes.

Elizabeth Stewart

Elizabeth StewartIf this past awards season is any indication, Elizabeth Stewart is a practiced pro who shows no signs of slowing down. The woman behind Cate Blanchett’s awe-inducing array of Armani, Sandra Bullock’s colorful body-con dressing, and Julia Roberts’ delightful menswear flourishes, Stewart continues to keep her clients at the top of best-dressed lists while sticking to their individual styles with impressive ease. Having worked at W, WWD, and The New York Times Magazine before entering styling, Stewart’s editor’s eye brings a studied approach to the pull. Here, she talks exclusively to Style.com about how the industry has changed, the role of social media, and why she likes working closely with designers.

How do you think your experience as an editor has shaped your styling career?
It really, really helped me to work in the Paris office of WWD. Spending so much time in ateliers in Paris helped me understand what goes into making a dress.

When did you know you wanted to start styling?
It happened by accident…I was writing for WWD and they needed someone to style the covers of W Europe.

Your first client was famously Calista Flockhart during her Ally McBeal run. How do you feel styling has changed since then?
I still work with Calista. Red-carpet styling is a real job now! It’s become much more of a “thing,” with so much interest in it—and much more of a business.

Does the increasing role of social media ever affect your sartorial decisions?
Social media adds a crazy and kind of fun element to what we do. It does not affect decisions usually, although we refer to it a lot in the room, especially when making a choice we know won’t be popular. I think because I’ve been a fashion editor my whole life, and fashion editors are not only opinionated but think they’re always right, the court of public opinion is not a problem for me. If the world likes a choice, I think everyone is right! And if they don’t, it’s the opposite!

When you’re working with an actress like Cate Blanchett, who is closely aligned with Armani, do you find the brand affiliation constricting? Or does it allow for more options?
It’s actually quite interesting to work so closely with a designer. I love knowing the whole design team and discovering all the resources that they have available. It’s a depth of knowledge I wouldn’t have about them if Cate didn’t have the relationship.

If you were dressing yourself for an awards show, which designers would fill your “try on” racks?
I wear a lot of Proenza Schouler and Prada dresses. So maybe I’d start with them!

Do you have an infamous fashion blunder or red-carpet mishap that has affected your process?
Not really. I always have a backup dress, which I am convinced is why I never need one. My one funny story is that Amanda Seyfried and I decided we liked a certain minidress better backward. I said, “No problem, just make sure you mention it on the red carpet so people know we did it on purpose.” She did, but the press ignored that fact and just wrote about how she had put her dress on backward!

What’s your biggest awards season indulgence?
Indulgence and awards season…oxymoron. Although this last awards season I stopped e-mailing at midnight rather than 1 a.m. And OK, I was eating chocolates the whole time. There’s the indulgence!

How do you honor the various aesthetics of different clients while still staying true to your styling ethos?
I love all kinds of fashion and love the opportunity to work with different aesthetics. That is what is great about dressing other people—I’m not limited to what just works on me. I really like to channel a client and filter her likes.

Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com 

Hollywood’s A-list Stylists Get a Moment in the Spotlight

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Elle FanningNow that awards season is over and all of the prestigious statues have been doled out, the unsung heroes behind the stars can get some shine of their own. At Soho House in Los Angeles yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter hosted a lunch celebrating its annual Power Stylists issue.

Topping the list of honorees are Elizabeth Stewart, who dressed Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, and Julia Roberts for their countless appearances; Petra Flannery, the mastermind behind Amy Adams’ American Hustle promotional parade; and newbie Micaela Erlanger, who is featured on the cover of the issue alongside clients Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong’o.

“It’s really exciting to know that you can have this kind of impact, that you can help shape and coif someone’s image and brand and know that what you’re doing really is powerful beyond just picking out a pretty dress,” Erlanger enthused, calling her work with Nyong’o a true collaboration.

At the luncheon, stars and their stylists arrived in pairs: Olivia Munn with Erlanger, Ashley Greene with Cristina Ehrlich, and Bella Heathcote with Penny Lovell. After Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi addressed guests, Hollywood Reporter writer Merle Ginsberg asked the actresses in the crowd what it felt like to be a plus one. Laughter ensued.

As Lizzy Caplan, stylist Tara Swennen, and Evan Rachel Wood all discussed awards season dressing, Elle Fanning broke down her kindred connection with stylist Samantha McMillen, who also styles her sister, Dakota. “I’m always texting her looks,” Fanning said, referring to the files of Style.com runway images she admits to keeping. And as was echoed by celebs and their stylists throughout the lunch, each look is a team effort. “The details are very important,” she said. “Samantha always makes sure to bring funny socks and things like that to make it me.”

Photos: Courtesy Photo

Runway to Red Carpet: The Celebrity Set Keeps It Up Across the Pond

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Angelina and BradIn case you haven’t been counting down with the rest of us, the Oscars are next weekend. And while the highly anticipated red carpet is known as the awards season’s most glamorous, the celebrity set wasn’t holding back during this week’s events across the pond. Sunday’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards saw our current red-carpet favorites hit it out of the sartorial ballpark yet again. Lupita Nyong’o was statuesque in an emerald green silk Dior Couture gown accented with a metallic gold-lacquered belt and cuffs, and Cate Blanchett, who took home the BAFTA trophy for best actress, walked the red carpet in a black column with a silver tulip jacquard from Alexander McQueen’s Pre-Fall ’14 lineup. We should also mention that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie turned up in matching suits: Jolie opted for a casually undone tux from Saint Laurent; Pitt, meanwhile, wore Valentino.

Later in the week, on Wednesday, the music set stole the spotlight at the Brit Awards in London. International Female Solo Artist winner Lorde stuck to her favorite color palate, accepting her trophy in a black Tom Ford Spring ’14 gown covered in fractured mirrors. Ever-dapper music mogul Pharrell Williams chose a charcoal gray lamé effect suit by his red-carpet go-to, Lanvin. While he left his now-famous Vivienne Westwood topper (which is currently getting auctioned off on eBay for charity, the latest bid being $10,500) home for this outing, we’re hoping he has more red-carpet surprises up his sleeve.

Here, more of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

Photo: David M. Benett / Getty Images

Runway to Red Carpet: Sequins in Sydney and a Christopher Kane Double Dip

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Jennifer HudsonAfter several weeks of ongoing award shows, the Hollywood set conceded the spotlight to the music biz at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. The evening prior to the big event, several stars partied in style at pre-Grammy soirees. Rihanna paired a striped Spring ’14 Altuzarra blouse with a thigh-high-slit skirt at the Roc Nation pre-Grammy brunch. Miley Cyrus, meanwhile, topped a white satin slipdress with Calvin Klein Collection’s cozy pink Pre-Fall ’14 shearling coat at a pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills.

Christopher Kane’s banded Resort ’14 frock has proven to be a very popular red-carpet choice, with Jennifer Hudson and Lara Stone joining the list of notables (including Chloë Grace Moretz and Lupita Nyong’o) who have donned versions of the look. Hudson wore the off-the-shoulder dress for Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala on Saturday, and Stone paired the crewneck iteration with a blazer for the Radio Times party in London on Tuesday.

Then, of course, there’s Cate Blanchett, who’s been pulling out all the sartorial stops of late. Last night at the AACTA Awards ceremony in Sydney, the actress radiated glamour in a plunging chocolate sequined Spring ’14 gown by her tried-and-true favorite, Givenchy.

Here, more of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

Photo: Jason Merritt / WireImage

Runway to Red Carpet: Awards Season Fever

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Lupita Nyong'oAwards Season is officially in full swing. Lupita, Amy, Emma, and Cate stole the show at Sunday’s Golden Globes, but plenty of other A-listers had their time in the spotlight on the busy party circuit. On Saturday, Sandra Bullock broke red-carpet convention by pairing a white T-shirt etched with iconic edifices with an emerald pencil skirt from Burberry’s fresh Pre-Fall ’14 offering for the BAFTA Los Angeles 2014 Awards Season Tea Party in Beverly Hills. The same day, Naomi Watts took a turn on the red carpet for the G’Day USA Black Tie Gala in an icy blue silk satin Spring ’14 Marchesa gown.

After the Globes, many stars slipped out of their red-carpet wares and into equally glamorous party frocks for some post-ceremony revelry. InStyle and Warner Bros. cohosted a bash that saw notables like Hailee Steinfeld, Emma Watson, and Miranda Kerr slink down the red carpet in their sartorial best. Diane Kruger, who was absent on the Globe’s red carpet, turned up in a black Pre-Fall ’14 Antonio Berardi gown sprinkled with gold crystals.

Silver-screen newcomers Lupita Nyong’o and Adèle Exarchopoulos each took home trophies at Thursday night’s Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. And they impressed on the red carpet, too. Nyong’o, who has topped countless Best Dressed lists the last few months, donned a statuesque, custom ivory silk crepe bandeau dress from Calvin Klein Collection (she also wore a printed Mary Katrantzou number to the DuJour magazine party this week, left). Exarchopoulos, meanwhile, chose a sheer Spring ’14 Louis Vuitton stunner spangled with beads and feathers. Tune in Saturday evening as the red-carpet excitement continues with the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Here, more of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

Photo: Gabriel Olsen / Getty Images